Regarding the article published by the MLex website on 28 August 2020, titled “CADE Councilor Prado criticizes ‘forced’ leniency deals, expects lowdown in Brazil cartel probes”, the members of CADE’s Administrative Tribunal, endorsed below, reaffirm to the Brazilian society and to the national and international antitrust community that opinions displayed by any member or servant of CADE outside the case files of administrative proceedings that are being processed or have been processed do not express the institutional view of the agency. Therefore, such opinions must be understood solely as personal opinions of those who express them.
On this occasion, we emphasize that CADE’s Leniency Program was the first leniency program to be launched in Brazil and have broad national and international respectability, acquired by decades of commitment with competition defense, integrity and ability of all public and private agents that participate on agreements or that by any means contributed to the proper operation of the Program throughout its success journey.
The Program allows companies and/or individuals involved or that were involved in a cartel or other antitrust conduct to get benefits within the administrative and criminal field by signing a leniency agreement with CADE, committing themselves to cease the illegal practice, report and confess their participation in the conduct, as well as to cooperate with investigations by submitting information and documents relevant to the investigation.
In this regard, it is important to highlight that with the introduction of the Program in Brazil, the country took a fundamental step towards the effective fight against impunity, whereas it gave Cade a mechanism that greatly increased its efficiency in detecting and punishing cartels of all kinds, particularly cartels in public procurements, as well as several other anticompetitive conducts that CADE has power to assess.
Furthermore, the success of the Program is expressed, as follows, by the increasing number of Leniency Agreements signed with CADE since the first one in 2003. From 2003 to 2019, 151 agreements of this nature were signed, resulting in dozens of administrative proceedings initiated, instructed and assessed, with great collaboration from its beneficiaries, due to anticompetitive practices that, without these agreements, as structured and parameterized in the Guidelines for Leniency Agreement and by CADE's case law, probably would never have been identified and processed. Leniency Agreements are, therefore, indispensable to ensure CADE’s operation in the defense of competition in Brazil.
At last, aware of our commitment to the market and to the citizens, we reaffirm that CADE will continue to make efforts to strengthen all tools that maintain the effectiveness of CADE’s mission: contribute to consolidate free competition and fight the abuse of economic power.
Alexandre Barreto de Souza
Mauricio Oscar Bandeira Maia
Paula Farani de Azevedo Silveira
Sérgio Costa Ravagnani
Lenisa Rodrigues Prado
Luiz Augusto Azevedo de Almeida Hoffmann
Luis Henrique Bertolino Braido